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Monarch variation? - Danaus plexippus

Monarch variation? - Danaus plexippus
Brooklyn, Kings Co. County, New York, USA
September 19, 2010
Size: 2 inches
Is this an unusually dark Monarch caterpillar, Danaus plexippus, or an instar of same?

It is indeed a Monarch caterpillar, and much darker than usual. They don't change much with age, so this one probably started out this way and will probably stay this way until it turns to a pupa. It would be interesting to see if the pupa and adult will turn out equally dark.

Moved from ID Request.

Thank you. Many more regularly colored monarchs were found on the milkweeds at the brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park several weeks earlier. Pretty cool watching a new park, with all its new plantings, blooming with insects, too.
Blogged about the caterpillars here:

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